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Mower County Sheriff’s Office, area fire departments respond to fires involving a tractor with attached stalk chopper and two combines

Deputies from the Mower County Sheriff’s Office and fire departments from around the county were kept busy Tuesday afternoon battling fires involving a tractor with an attached stalk chopper and two combines.  

Mower County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Adams Fire Department were dispatched to the intersection of 640th Avenue and 140th Street near Adams at 2:37 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in response to a tractor and field fire in a picked cornfield.

Sheriff Steve Sandvik reported that upon arrival, deputies observed a John Deere 7710 tractor and an attached stalk chopper fully engulfed in flames with thick, black smoke rolling from both.  Sandvik stated that much of the corn stubble surrounding the tractor had burned, and the flames were spreading east towards 640th St.  

The tractor operator was able to safely escape the burning tractor without injury, and Sheriff Sandvik stated that a nearby digger was brought over to turn up the ground around the tractor to stop the fire from spreading to the rest of the field.  

The Adams Fire Department arrived on the scene and extinguished the blaze, and no injuries were reported.  Sandvik stated that the tractor, which had an estimated value of $30,000 and the stalk chopper, with an estimated value of $20,000 are both being considered a total loss.

A short time later at 3:17 p.m., Mower County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Lyle Police Department and fire departments from Austin and Rose Creek responded to a combine fire in the middle of a harvested soybean field near Austin.

Sheriff Sandvik reported that upon arrival in the field in the 15000 block of 570th Avenue near Austin, deputies observed a 1999 Claas Lexion 465 combine fully engulfed in flames facing southeast away from the wind.  The deputies also noticed that many of the harvested soybeans had burned away from the combine, and the operator stated to authorities that he was operating the machine when he noticed some mechanical issues and an odor of smoke.  He went on to state that he turned the machine away from the wind to investigate and found a fire building under the hood.  The combine soon became fully engulfed in flames, and a nearby digger was brought in to turn up the ground around the machine to stop the fire from spreading to the rest of the field.  

Fire Departments from Austin and Rose Creek arrived on the scene to extinguish the blaze, and no injuries were reported.  Sandvik stated that the combine, with an estimated value of $60,000 and an attached 40-foot bean head with a value estimated at $15,000 are both being considered a total loss.

At 5:16 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, Mower County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Lyle Fire Department responded to a report of a combine on fire in a soybean field in the 60000 block of 110th St.

Sheriff Sandvik stated that upon arrival, the 2016 John Deere S680 combine’s operator told authorities that there were no visible flames, but he had noticed an odor of something burning and visible smoke was coming from inside the machine.  Sheriff Sandvik stated that the Lyle Fire Department arrived on scene and soaked the combine, extinguishing any potential fire.  Lyle Fire Chief Dan Frank indicated it appeared a bearing inside the machine had overheated, and was the cause of the smoke and smoldering.

There were no injuries during the incident and there was no estimate of damages to the combine. 


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